Michael Baird, team leader of The Baird Team in Greenwood, Colorado, recently joined Realvolve + Firepoint's Gabe Cordova for an insightful webinar. Michael told us all about his revamped follow-up process—and the technology that makes it possible.
Continue reading for some highlights from the webinar. Or, even better, rewatch the full webinar recording.
To get started, Michael gave us a quick intro about his business:
I've been in real estate for about eight years now, and started the team about four years ago. This year, our team has pretty much doubled in size. We're on track to double what we did last year—which, with everything going on with Covid, we're really proud of that—and we've done that by getting more systematized.
We're also working on ways to make it easier on our agents, to where they're not having to be on the phone all day every day to find those opportunities. We're using a lot of the tools that Firepoint provides to be able to dig into ponds and things like that in the CRM, which is enabling us to focus on the things that are more high priority.
Before switching to Firepoint, Michael was experiencing several problems with his old CRM:
The Game-Changer: Firepoint & Lead Ponds
Here, Michael explains how he transformed his real estate business by changing his lead follow-up process and using a feature of Firepoint called Lead Ponds.
At the end of last year, we started changing our follow-up process. Up until that point. we had been treating every new lead like it was the most important lead in the world. We had the mindset of, "we're going to call them until they buy or die." If you're getting 10 leads a month, that's something you can do. But with us getting 1,200 to 1,500 leads a month, it just wasn't feasible. Our agents were burning out and selling less because they were spending too much time on things that, honestly, just didn't matter as much.
Now, for our follow-up process, we use the Lead Ponds feature within Firepoint.
All of our new leads come into what we call the 'duty pond.' Each agent gets one duty shift per week where they have access to all the new leads coming in, as well as any lead that has signed up in the last three or four days that has not been claimed by an agent.
Basically, instead of distributing leads round-robin, each lead goes into that pond, and the agent on duty at the time has access to that lead. Duty pond shifts are 8AM-2PM and 2PM-8PM, with a different agent on duty each shift.
Here's the process for when a new lead comes into the pond:
A new lead comes in. We call them. Assuming they don't answer, we call them twice. Then we text them, save them a search, and send them a BombBomb [video email]. Then in the afternoon, if that lead is still in there, the agent that's on duty in the afternoon is going to call that lead twice again.
Each lead is getting called twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon for three or four days straight, but it's from a bunch of different numbers.
If Sally Smith signs up, she's getting four calls on day one, four calls on day two, four calls on day three, and potentially four calls on day four. We are going to do anything we can in that first critical three or four days to find out if Sally needs help, if she's looking to buy or looking to sell. If we aren't able to determine that, Sally goes into a pond and we let the technology—the A.I.—take over and handle it.
That's a lot of communication in just four days, and you might be thinking, "That's just going to annoy people." Here's Michael's take on this:
Some newer agents on the team were talking about how they had that thought, like, "Wow, this is going to be way too much." But then they get in and do it and actually see it—"Hey, it's my number calling you twice on Monday morning, a different number calling you twice on Monday afternoon," and so on for the first three or four days. One of our newer agents said, "Do you know how many calls you get every day from numbers you don't recognize?"
So most likely, nobody is going to put it together that the call on Monday morning and the call on Monday afternoon are the same company, right?
Now, to elaborate on that, we don't leave voicemails on those calls. If you adopt this strategy, that's extremely important. Because if I was leaving voicemail, and my other agent was leaving them, and we left eight voicemails, "Hey, this is _____ from the Baird team," then they would put that all together and probably not want to do business with us.
Our general rule is that you're not leaving a voicemail unless you've claimed the lead and they're your own and you're working with them.
The BombBomb video script:
One part of the follow-up process during those crucial first three or four days is a BombBomb video email. The script Michael's team uses in their BombBomb videos is one that Gabe shared with them.
Basically, a 20 second video saying, "Hey, I saved you a search. Wasn't sure what you were looking for, so I sent over a bunch of homes. Let me know, we want to make sure we get that right. Reach out and let me know what you're actually looking for." And that's been huge.
Gabe emphasized that "not once did he say, 'Hey, I saw you look at this one three times. Do you want to go see it?' I think the key there is you're making it about them. It's their journey, not ours, and it should be very service-focused, not sales-focused."
ABCs and the Lead Manager
Michael has some strict guidelines in place to keep his team and their lead management on track. Every lead must be labeled as an A, B, or C, and a lead manager goes through the database to make sure leads aren't being neglected.
We don't care if you have 10 leads or 10,000, as long as you have one of those ABC tags on them and you're following up with them. We have the lead manager that goes through the database and makes sure that leads are followed up with correctly. If they're not, they're reassigned back into a pond.
A leads are hot—buying in 60 days or less. B leads are 60 to 180 days, and C leads are over six months. We have a different follow up cadence for those.
A leads need to be called and texted every week. Really, if somebody is buying within two months, it should be more often than that, because you know how easy it is to go find an agent on Zillow. If I have somebody who's buying in the next 40 days, I'm going to be calling them, texting them, emailing them something probably every day or so to make sure they aren't hopping on Zillow.
Every lead that they have in their database has to have one of those tags on them. Then what our lead manager does is he just goes every week in filters for A, and goes through all the leads to make sure that they were called and texted the previous week. If not, they're reassigned. B is twice a month a call, C is once a month a call.
If I'm the agent, I filter for my A leads on Monday or Tuesday of the week, and I go through and call them all, and if I have a conversation, great. If not, I text them something. Same with the B leads, twice a month. And C leads, once a month.
The technology does 80% of the work
The great thing about Michael's process is that the technology—Firepoint—is doing 80% of the work. The AI, the saved searches, the texting—that's the tedious 80% that agents don't want to do (and that often just isn't getting done). That's the beauty of this technology. It takes care of the time-consuming work so the agents can focus on that other 20%—the high-priority leads, the low-hanging fruit.
More great takeaways in the full video!
If you want to learn more about Michael's follow-up process—such as how he identifies A leads during a down market or how his team uses Firepoint's power dialer to make 400% more calls—watch the full webinar recap!
Sammy Harper is a content writer at Firepoint & Realvolve. Her nine years of digital marketing experience include SEO, email marketing, social media, and blogging. Fascinated by the real estate indust...Read More